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Cablegate: Demarche Delivered: Mercury Issues at the Adhoc

VZCZCXRO9198
RR RUEHAST RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHTM
DE RUEHHI #0878 2120900
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 300900Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8203
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 4960
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS HANOI 000878

STATE FOR OES/ENV (HFINMAN)

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC EAGR ETRD SENV VM
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED: MERCURY ISSUES AT THE ADHOC
OPEN ENDED WORKING GROUP IN OCTOBER 2008

REF: STATE 63943

1. (U) As requested, ESTH delivered this demarche to the Vietnam
Environmental Protection Agency (VEPA) in mid-June. VEPA officials
first stated that they would respond by letter, than suggested a
meeting, subsequently cancelled the meeting, requested additional
time to consider the issue, and finally provided a short response
following numerous calls from ESTH assistant.

2. (U) According to working level officials at VEPA, the Government
of Vietnam (GVN) has performed few, if any, studies on mercury,
other than statistics relating to mercury use in a small number of
hospitals. With little experience, VEPA found it difficult to
respond to the questions listed in reftel. However, in principle,
Vietnam would support international mercury initiatives and looked
forward to the opportunity to cooperate on this issue.

Comment
-------

3. (SBU) As the GVN's disorganized response demonstrates, Vietnam
has paid little attention to this issue to date. It is willing to
learn more about international efforts, but likely will not play an
active role in upcoming multilateral mercury control discussions.

MICHALAK

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